Carleen was born and raised in Lyme, Connecticut. She received her BA degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she majored in music and elementary education. She began serving the FCCOL as organist in 1976. She received her Master of Divinity in 1995 from the University of South Africa where she could pursue a major in the study of missions. She was ordained in 1996 and serves the church as Minister of Music and as Associate Minister.